NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee Titans running back Jackie Battle has become the first running back fined under the NFL's new crown of the helmet rule. The league fined him $21,000.
The new rule instituted this season for safety reasons prohibits running backs from delivering blows with the crown of their helmet once they are outside the tackle box.
Battle was not flagged for his hit on Houston defensive back Danieal Manning last weekend. He was fined Thursday and is appealing. He said Friday that he was caught off guard by the fine and couldn't even eat lunch.
He says he didn't expect a fine off what he thought was a perfectly legal play running as he has his entire career.
But Battle says he won't change his style as a physical runner.